Dog owners speak out as animal neglect sentencing is delayed

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Dog owners are speaking out as Iowa dog kennel owner Dustin Young had his animal neglect sentence delayed Wednesday.

Sentencing was scheduled but put on hold when the defense asked for a deferred judgement.

Last May authorities found three dozen malnourished dogs and puppies at Young Gunz Kennel in Hancock. At least four other dogs were found dead.

Young owned Young Gunz where he trained, bred and boarded hunting dogs.

He struck a deal pleading guilty to 12 counts of animal neglect. In exchange 28 other charges were dropped.

All the surviving dogs were returned to their rightful owners or adopted out.

While the court has yet to weigh-in, dog owners confronted Young Wednesday as he appeared in Pottawattamie County Court.

Several dog owners told the judge why they didn’t believe what they were seeing felt like justice.

They trusted him with their pets and in their words, Dustin Young failed them.

It began with anger and sadness as they recounted what happened to their pets last spring as animal control experts focused on a farm in Hancock.

Then it turned to frustration after hearing what they said were hollow excuses from the suspect.

Six dog owners were court Wednesday with several of them giving victim statements. They wanted Dustin Young to know what he did wasn’t okay and that, for them, justice means jail time.

Duke was found dead of animal neglect at the dog trainer's property. Experts said dozens of other dogs were found malnourished.

Dani Allison, of Spencer, Iowa, said, “We went down to Hancock and his property to pick up our dog and took him home to bury him. I don’t understand why that happened. Why someone could do this. Why not call us and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this going on. Come get your dog.’ We would have done it. I want justice. I want my guilt to go away for sending my dog there.”

A couple months ago Dustin Young pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of animal neglect resulting in death and 10 other counts of neglect. The maximum jail time he could get is close to three years.

In the end the judge delayed sentencing until next month so a pre-sentence investigation could be completed.